Thursday, October 7, 2021

Music History Today: October 8, 2021

October 8, 2004: Ray Charles, who died in June, scores his first Platinum album when Genius Loves Company, released in September, sells over a million copies.
Genius Loves Company is the last studio album Ray Charles completed before his death in June 2004. As the title acknowledges with a wink, this is a duets album, which may be a little commonplace as far as latter-day superstar albums go.
Ray Charles
Ray Charles

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He covers a strong set of songs, largely familiar pop classics, from "Fever" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" and "Crazy Love." His duet partners are fairly predictable -- classy newcomers like Norah Jones and Diana Krall, but also old stalwarts like Elton John, B.B. King, Johnny Mathis, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, and the ubiquitous Willie Nelson. They're reliable, never overshadowing Ray yet never shrinking in his shadow either 
Read more: Allmusic
October 8, 1955: The Four Aces' "Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing" hits number 1 in the US.
"Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" was a monster hit for the Four Aces in October, 1955. Their recording enjoyed three weeks at the top of the pop charts, and six straight weeks with most airplay. The jukebox industry caught up in November, and for three weeks the dramatic Aces harmony ruled the nickel machines at diners, dives, and drive-ins across the country. 
Read more: Popular Song

 

October 8, 1957: Jerry Lee Lewis recorded the song "Great Balls Of Fire" at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.
The tapes were rolling in Sun Studios. Jerry Lee Lewis was up in the city from Ferriday, Louisiana, to record the follow-up to Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.

Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis

Sam Phillips had a song for him from Otis Blackwell, who had written for Elvis, and whose Fever was a searingly sexual song without ever being explicit. Lewis knew what Great Balls of Fire was really about, and he wasn’t happy. It was the devil’s music, and Lewis feared God. Finally, around midnight, Lewis was persuaded to take his place at the piano, where two session men – drummer Larry Linn and bassist Sidney Stokes – did their best to keep up.  
Read more: The Guardian

October 8, 1983: Spandau Ballet's "True" tops out at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
“True” is a song by the English band Spandau Ballet. Released on 14 April 1983, the song was written by band member Gary Kemp.

Spandau Ballet
Spandau Ballet
The song was a huge worldwide hit, peaking at number one in the UK Singles Chart on 30 April 1983 for four weeks, becoming the sixth biggest selling single of the year, and charting highly in 20 other countries. Most noteworthy, it is Spandau Ballet’s biggest hit and their only major hit in the US. 

 

October 8, 1988: Def Leppard's ballad "Love Bites," from the LP Hysteria, hits number 1 on the Hot 100.

Mutt Lange had a vision. In a Guitar World interview a few years ago, Def Leppard’s Phil Collen laid that vision out in plain language: Lange wanted “a hard rock version of Thriller.” Lange planned for Def Leppard’s next album to be something that wouldn’t just cross over to the pop charts. He intended to make something that would just smother them. 

Def Leppard LP Hysteria

Lange and Def Leppard basically succeeded. Def Lep had never had a top-10 single in the US before their 1987 album Hysteria. That changed. Hysteria has 12 songs, and it spun off seven singles. Four of those singles made it into the top 10. One of them — the only one in Def Leppard’s decades-long history — got to #1. 

Read more: Stereogum

Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?
Ray Charles with Bonnie Raitt

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